Chattertime is a weekly drop-in group for families with children under four, aimed at supporting and encouraging the development of young children’s early communication skills.
The purpose of the group is to support the development of children’s early speech, language and communication skills.
The group is open to all eligible children, but in particular children who are:
Identified as having speech and language difficulties.
‘Late talkers’ (e.g. 2-year olds who are not using many words yet).
‘At risk’ of speech and language difficulties (e.g. older siblings had communication difficulties).
Chattertime also welcomes parents and carers who have general queries about their child’s speech and language skills or would like some tips or advice.
Common questions include:
“Should my child be talking more?”
“Should I use more than one language with my child?”
“Should I use signs or gestures with my child?”
“I am worried that my child has a stammer”
The group meets weekly and is run jointly with a Speech and Language Therapist and a trained member of early years staff from the setting where the group is taking place.
They give advice and support to parents and carers, on the development of early speech and language skills.
These include the development of your child's:
Chattertime does this through different activities including:
Each week, there will also be a 'tip of the week', aimed at giving you some practical ideas to encourage your child's speech and language at home. During a Chattertime session you play and interact with your child, practicing the tip of the week and sit with them during the circle time. We also plan sessions in themes (e.g. bear hunt, shark in the park or rumble in the jungle) and will encourage you to continue the theme at home.
At Chattertime we use "Makaton signing" during our play activities, at singing, story and snack time. Makaton is designed to support spoken language, through signs, hand gestures and symbols. Research has shown that signs and gestures are easier to learn than spoken words and it can help children who are having difficulty with talking and feeling frustrated communicate meaningfully with other people.
Chattertime has two primary outcomes:
Chattertime only runs during the school term time.
The group is open to all families with children under four living in the LEAP ward. We accept referrals from parents and professionals.
If you are unable to attend your nearest Chattertime, please visit our website for alternative Chattertime and drop-in details. You can also find a referral form on our website if you would like to refer a child to speech and language therapy.
Some children, particularly young children and those with speech and language difficulties, may find it difficult to sit and attend to the circle time when they first start coming to Chattertime. Please speak to us about ideas and strategies to support your child develop these skills. Chattertime is a good place to try out and practice ways to support them.
Jacqui Mcdermid - Communication and Language Co-Lead
Phone: 07525 061 850